Friday, March 16, 2018

Garden Friday

Welcome to Garden Friday!
Believe it or not,
we had some snow this past week!
Is Spring really less than a week away?
Mother Nature sure has a funny way about Her.

On Tuesday, I showed you Ford's Seeds, the magical place where I picked up my Yukon Gold seeds. 
While the seeds are curing before planting, I decided to make a few potato towers.
(I'll post about planting the spuds next week.)
I used some critter wire (hole size doesn't really matter),
something sharp with which to cut through the wire, 
 and some heavy-duty gloves.

 I'm using chicken wire, which is a pretty closely-knit wire,
mostly because I didn't want to have to line the cages with anything but leaves or straw.
If you want to make these with wire that has larger holes,
just know that you will need something with which to fill in the spaces so you don't lose all the soil
(for example landscape fabric).
The bricks were used to hold down the wire while I spread it out on the grass
(unfortunately, I couldn't rope my son into helping me).

 Needle-nose pliers or wire snips work well to cut through the wire.

The wire was measured out into six foot lengths.
This will give me a diameter of about 2 feet.
When the taters are ready for harvesting,
the whole kit-and-kaboodle just lifts off,
so you don't need to go diggin' in the cage for your treasure!

After cutting the three lengths of wire,
the ends just get folded onto one another,
to form a (hopefully) tight seal.
Be sure to wear your gloves at this stage,
I forgot to put them back on and got pierced.
(Tetanus booster, anyone?)

 The three towers will stand next to the straw bales
where the sun shines most of the day.
I'll have to figure out how to snake the soaker hose 
on the towers since it's long enough.
That soaker hose was quite a find.
It should make this garden a breeze to maintain.

 To be sure that the tower cages don't decorate the neighborhood,
a stake was woven through one side of each of them.
Once the soil is added, it should be fine, 
but since the wire just sits on the ground, I wanted to make sure they stayed put.

 One thing we have plenty of here is leaves.
Some folks use straw or newspaper to line their towers,
but we always try to use what's on hand.

 Each tower was filled with a few bucketfuls of leaves,
just enough to give a good foundation for the soil.
This will compact down some when the growing medium goes in.

I grew potatoes once in Florida without much success.
It will be exciting to see how they do in these towers.
If they do well, the cages can be used year after year,
so it's worth the minimal expense.
I can't see any reason to buy potatoes when they are so easy to grow.
At least, that's what I'm hoping!

What garden projects do you have going on?